Institutional initiative

Summer RESEARCH SERIES

What’s happening at your school in the summer? At Colby, almost 300 students stay on campus to do research of all kinds. Some of those students pair up with Colby partnership organizations across Maine, and take advantage of some of the state’s most beautiful (and high-tech) resources. In Summer 2018, we headed out to profile students at Bigelow Laboratory, Belgrade Lakes, Allen Island, and Maine Huts and Trails. Each visit became a video feature — but we also used that content to produce a ‘summer medley’ of sorts to play during big screen presentation for a key Dare Northward fundraising event for the school in Portland.

FUNDRAISING

Colleges are always looking for creative ways to ask people to help fund campus initiatives. When it comes to connecting to alumni, I’m of the firm (and popular!) belief that a touching personal story is the best way to reconnect them to their alma mater. Gripping fall visuals can help a New England school tap into that campus nostalgia and grab their attention. Or sometimes, the people themselves are recognizable enough to draw a viewer in. But the key is always, always a compelling story.

BIG ANNOUNCEMENTS

How do you get social audiences to care about big announcements? However much I hate to admit it, sometimes throwing a good-looking video at something can really get your message across. Reserve this for the big guns, though — like capping the parent/guardian contribution at $15,000 for families making up to $150,000. Or a 350,000 square foot athletic complex under construction on campus. If you’re throwing flashy one-off videos at your audience all the time, it’s not much of a strategy. They’ll lose their impact. And for all that is good and right in this world — do not host and embed videos this big on your website. Especially not with auto-play.